Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders knows that the The Food and Drug Administration will not require any special label on foods just because a competitor seeks to market its product differently.
And marketing is the only distinction between organic food and traditional food. It's a process and they don't require regular meat to have a big NON-KOSHER label on it either. Kosher food just puts a 'kosher' label on the package and has to obey truth-in-advertising laws.
But Sanders and dozens of other Democrats have been engaged in a multi-front war to get warning labels put on science that their constituents fear. Last year, California Senator Barbara Boxer got over 50 Democrats to try and push through a GMO warning label requirement - she got two Republicans so science media could claim the anti-science beliefs are bipartisan - and then did it again this month.
And Sanders tried to slip another amendment into a 5 year Farm Bill, which the Senate rejected on a 71-27 vote. It's one thing to sign a non-binding letter for Boxer and another to actually declare war on farmers, so Democratic Senators who represent agricultural constituents came down with a hard 'no'.
Sanders relied on the same tired argument activists use when they aren't addressing the 'Frankenfood is evil' audience: “The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Except they really don't know, do they? Organic food in America is only required to be 95% organic. The list of synthetic ingredients that the $29 billion organic industry has gotten approved in order to make its products cheaper is truly dizzying but it isn't on their labels. If you are a fan of strychnine or Bt spray yet think a plant naturally expressing Bt is dangerous, you need an IQ test.
If people have a right to know about GMOs, why did California's Proposition 37 exempt alcohol? And restaurants? And organic food? Because it was about using legislative fiat to gain market share for organic conglomerates, not food safety.
States can pass all of the laws they want, they can ban golf or plastic bags or force grocery stores to put meaningless labels on food. It doesn't take the Federal government to do that. Both the Vermont House (and the Senate in Connecticut) voted to make food companies put labels on any food that might contain genetically modified ingredients - which will be almost all of them. States are perfectly within their rights to be anti-science hippies, since being an anti-science hippie is not one of the enumerated powers in the U.S. Constitution.
Obviously the fight is not over. The U.S. Senate will consider other amendments, including about GMOs, over the next month or so. But look for the House of Representatives to stand up for biology again this year, as they did last year, and vote down any anti-science nonsense that comes out of the Democratic-controlled Senate. Because the House is controlled by Republicans.
U.S. Senate Rejects GMO Labeling Amendment
By Hank Campbell | May 24th 2013 01:01 PM | Print | E-mail